Oh, raising kids to become functioning adults, its a chore. It’s a hard chore. I’m not sure if I have told you but I hate chores.
This is a chore I can’t avoid no matter how much I hate it.
You see, I have two people in my home that seem to have changed in the last few years. They want to think on their own, they want to dictate what they do with their time, who they hang out with, and they seem to think all of this should be done on mom and dads dime.
That may SEEM like the big problem but the reality is it is a little problem. The BIGGER problem comes from us, their parents.
Being parents our job has been to teach them about…life. As homeschooling parents I think this runs even deeper because we never handed teaching over to someone else. You might call this being a control freak and you might be right.
So now, as my children start to venture out on their own and discover adulthood, we parents have decided to kick it into hyper speed “teaching” mode. AKA: tell them how to do things the easiest least painful way. We parents discovered that this does not bode well with the all knowing teen. They must do it their way.
You see I have two teens who are really good kids. REALLY. GOOD. KIDS.
They have never caused us any concern, problem or otherwise. Both of them have good heads on their shoulders, and are morally upstanding kids.
Heres where it gets tricky. Mom and dad think teens should go get jobs. Teens are not putting much effort into getting jobs but they can spend many hours on instagram!
Why can’t the, “I’m counting to 4” still work? Why?????
I can’t stand to watch my kids not get exactly what they want and I will normally make myself uncomfortable to give them the things they want. Not the case in this situation. My husband, on the other hand wants to give them what they NEED and teach them to earn what they want, uncomfortable or not.
I admit, his way of thinking is much better than mine in that respect. On this particular subject he has unrealistic expectations. He thinks our boys should be able to get a job in 10 minutes when they have never looked for a job before. I’m pretty sure he also believes they should be making a full time, support a family income by the time they are 18. For Konner, this is in 4 months…he has never worked for anyone but his dad. Hubs is trying to teach the boys that you have to get out of your comfort zone to grow, he just wants that to happen by “fire”.
So what are we to do?
Thankfully, we have a friend who is a counselor and she specializes in working with teens…or in this case, the parents of teens. She knows our family and the dynamics so we trusted her to help us out. Originally, we thought it was going to be the teens problem but guess what? It was ours.
We need to start setting boundaries based on what we are trying to teach them. The way they get to this boundary is their choice. We can not dictate the journey. Only the end expectation.
Me: So, if they don’t do it right I can’t tell them how to do it?
Friend: You mean if they don’t do it your way? No, you can’t tell them how to do it, only your expectation and consequence.
Hubs:* laughing because he knows that this is a challenge for me*
Friend: *looking at hubs*, and you have to allow a reasonable amount of time for them to accomplish the expectation, don’t set them up for failure.
Me: *Laughing because I know what a challenge it will be for him*
If they choose to make horrible choices within that boundary then THEY have to reap the consequences. If they choose to ignore the boundary then they reap the consequences.
This all sounds very “Love and Logic” esque but when they are teens and when you feel it could effect their future it is HARD.
It is painful for mom and dad to watch your little loves, or in this case not so little loves, feel the pain of their consequences. But we have to do it.
Friends advice was to write out what we expect, what the consequences will be and any other things for clarity. They have to sign it. Not for anything other than acknowledging that they have been shown the contract.
This is more for us, mom and dad, to uphold our pact to be a undivided force in raising adults. We have agreed on the expectations and consequences and it is in writing to uphold.
We have to be able to follow through with the assigned consequence with enough time to allow for success.
Lets hope that this contract is the easiest contract to uphold because it would seem like it has the very most important things riding on it.
Wish us luck!!!!